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_hojo:infused with the power of the GOD HAND

March 30, 2009

hojo.artcore_God Hand is hardcore. not in the whole “companies need to focus on hardcore games and not casual crap” way that you could argue about from both sides back and forth, making completely valid arguments for both sides and days later, be no closer to settling the argument then when you started. it’s hardcore in the way that Battletoads is hardcore. it’s hardcore in the way that R-Type is hardcore. there’s none of that “Hey, grab my hand and let’s stroll through the first stage,” garbage you find in almost every other game made in the past 10 years. in fact, you will most likely die on the first level more than once. when you acquire new skills, the game doesn’t cut to an explanation screen that has a detailed breakdown of what it does and in what situations it should be used. the game pretty much just throws you to the wolves and says “Have fun!”

_and that’s the strange thing about God Hand. when you write it down and read it, you’d say “lord, that sounds like some shit design. they could have easily improved upon that.” and you’d be right. they could have. but that’s part of the charm of God Hand…the fact that they didn’t. there are a ton of things that could have have been put in the game to make it easier, or to simplify the game for the player, and it feels like Clover just decided not to do any of it. but…the things they didn’t do…none of it is game breaking. no opening level tutorial? just play the game and learn it on your own. the camera is locked directly behind your character? just keep an eye on the radar. radar doesn’t display barriers? just be happy you HAVE a radar. you don’t know what you should have in your combo? just experiment. if it doesn’t work out well, you’ll just die and go back to your last checkpoint, which is never that far.

_all of these things in another game would likely be far more irritating and could very well just be a ton of bad straws piling up on a camel’s back. but…the game is done in such a way that you can just…FEEL that everything that’s in the game is done on purpose. it’s hard to explain. all of the voice acting is over the top. the characters are all eccentric. the story is completely ludicrous. the bosses are often times just random asinine characters that are just there to be in your way for you to fight. now, if you take a look at all the descriptions, you might notice that they can all be used to describe many arcade games and 8/16-bit games of yesteryear.

_that’s the charm of God Hand. Clover basically took an awesome old school game and wrapped it into a 3D body, right down to the archaic flaws that old school games have. the flaws that we when we experience them today, we say things like “eh, that’s just how games were back then,” and accept them. it has the kind of punishing difficulty that we often just expect all NES games to have. it has the kind of soundtrack that you’ll only ever hear in a video game. it has the kind of story that would be ridiculed in any other artistic medium, but is mysteriously not only acceptable, but awesome in the video game format. and it was all done in the a 3D brawler with an shockingly deep fighting system. while most reviewers bashed the game on its initial release (often because it’s was simply too difficult, neither the first nor the last time this has happened) the game has since gained a cult following, and upon finishing the game, i can say that i too have drank the Kool-Aid and joined them. God Hand was the last game made by Clover Studios before Capcom dissolved them, and it will likely always be their misunderstood masterpiece.

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2 comments

  1. I enjoyed God Hand, even if I was ready to pull out my hair at one point or another, especially when I fought the Great Sensei. It also has one of the best ending songs I’ve ever heard. I beat it on Easy and died 49 times.


  2. I need the God Hand. I NEED IT. That way I have the power of the Burning Finger AND the God Hand.

    I’d be unstoppable! Even against a 5-stock Colossus Super, Hojo!!



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